We asked our neighbors to keep an eye on our home while we were in Europe. We joked around and said if anyone show ups with a moving truck, call the police! Well, we got a text from our daughter (who lives in a different state than us) who was going to be in our state and wanted to come by and get her furniture/stuff while we were in Europe. She was bringing a moving truck. We quickly texted our neighbor letting them know what was going on. We certainly didn’t want anyone calling law enforcement on our daughter. So glad that all worked out!
Going on a dream vacation is exciting and wonderful, but coming home to find out that someone else has taken advantage of your house while you’re away is an absolute nightmare.
Making sure that your home will be safe and secure before you leave is an important step in getting ready for a trip, but it’s one that a lot of people neglect. I’m sharing tips to make sure your home is safe while away and that you’ll come back to a welcoming home.
Make sure to unplug the power to your automatic garage door. This will keep thieves from opening the garage door with a universal remote.
If something were to happen while you’re away that requires someone being able to get into your home, you don’t want anyone to have to break down any doors or break a window and make an even bigger mess. A smart idea is to make a couple of copies of your current house key, then give those to trusted neighbors, friends, or nearby family. You could always have a keypad lock on your door. This way you have no keys to take care of and you can give the trusted neighbor the key code to your home. You can easily change out the code also!
If you realize that you forgot to turn off your heater, curling iron, or ??, there will be someone you can contact that can get into the house and fix the issue.
It’s also a smart idea to have that close neighbor or friend keep an eye on your place while you’re away on your adventure. They’ll notice if anything suspicious arises, and you’ll feel safer knowing that someone is helping keep your home safe.
Make sure that your doors and windows are strong and don’t have any loose hinges that might make them easier to take down and that there are locks on all of them. We had one home that had window alarms on them. These are easy to install, inepxensive and the noise level is loud when the window is opened – thieves won’t like these!
Security lighting is very important. We have motion detector security lights installed around our home. It really deters someone from entering your home when it is lit up with lights! A digital programmable timer is inexpensive and easy to use. Plug one into the electrical outlet, then plug a lamp into the programmable timer. You can set the hours you want the lamp to turn on and off. It creates the look that someone is home. Whatever you do – do NOT leave off all your lights. After several days of no lights on – it is obvious that no one is home.
Smart wi-fi plug is also another option. Yo can control electronic appliances from anywhere with your phone. Pretty cool.
Valuables in Safe
If you have any expensive jewelry or weapons, or items that you don’t want to get into the wrong hands, make sure those things are locked up somewhere safe before you leave. Having a large, heavy-duty personal safe that can’t be carried is a good idea for this very reason.
My friends home was broken into while they were away on a trip. Jewelry, cash, computers, xbox, and cameras were the main items stolen. Majority of those items could have been stored in a large heavy safe –(non portable). Most thieves aren’t there to steal your couch. It’s the small, easily accessible valuables they are after.
Maintain Your Yard
Yard maintenance is something that a lot of people don’t think about when they’re going on vacation, but it can make a huge difference!
A yard that is normally immaculate but suddenly has some weeds and uncut grass is a sign that maybe the owners aren’t home to keeps looking nice. If you’re going to be gone for a while, ask/pay someone to maintain your yard. A freshly mowed lawn and weeded garden will not only save you a lot of work for when you come back, but will tell others that this home is being taken care of.
Make sure you let your trusted neighbors know you will be leaving the house unattended for your trip. It’s always helpful if your neighbors are a little nosey to keep a careful watch on your home.
Don’t Share All Your Details
Vacations are fantastic, and after all that hard work that goes into planning them it’s tempting to share all the little details about where you are and what you’re doing.
If you’ve got the right privacy settings, then sharing a photo here and there definitely isn’t a problem. But letting the whole world know that you’re not home? That’s probably not the best idea.
Keep in touch with trusted friends and family while you’re actually away and save all the public sharing and details until you’re safely home again.
Before you leave on vacation request hold mail service at the post office. You can schedule this up to 30 days in advance. Nothing like shouting no one is home with a full mailbox.
Hiring a house sitter or asking a trusted friend/family neighbor is a good option for not having to worry about your home. Especially if you’re taking a long trip, this will ensure your home is being taken care of.
Taking the extra time to make sure that your home is safe, secure, and that you’ve done everything you can to deter would-be thieves or vandals will ensure that you can really relax and enjoy the trip that you’ve worked so hard to plan! A little extra time and a few precautions will allow you to not only have an amazing trip, but come back to the best place in the world: home.
What do you think? Is there anything you do before you leave that I missed? I would love to hear!
Check out some of my other travel posts!